was an American novelist who wrote works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973). He was known for his humanist beliefs as well as being honorary president of the American Humanist Association. He is widely considered one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to second-generation German-American parents Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., and Edith Lieber. Vonnegut graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in May 1940, and was accepted to attend Cornell University beginning that fall. At Cornell, he served as assistant managing editor and associate editor for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun, and majored in chemistry. While attending Cornell, Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S. Army. The army transferred him to the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee to study mechanical engineering.